1836 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. William Cartwright

Richard Cattermole, in Sacred Poetry of the Seventeenth Century (1836) 2:245.



The early death of this brilliant young man put a period to a career of the highest promise. His diligence was equal to the vivacity of his parts; he was thought equally admirable as a poet and a preacher: the wits, the courtiers, and the divines of his time joined in his praise while living; and all who could feel, or desired to he thought to feel, for the departure of learning and genius, were emulous to hang a garland upon his tomb. The writings of CARTWRIGHT possess ease, sweetness, and playfulness of fancy; but, judging them with the impartial coolness of posthumous criticism, it is impossible not to ascribe a considerable portion of their effect upon his contemporaries to the prejudice raised in favour of the poet, by the fascinating temper and conversation which were universally acknowledged in the soon. Like most of the wits of those times, Cartwright wrote for the stage.